Carbon Market supplemental MOA changes fate of vendors, Sitio Bato residents
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The supplemental Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) of the disputed Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) for the Carbon Market modernization program should improve the fate of Sitio Bato residents and the market vendors.
Lawyer Colin Rosell, the legal consultant of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, revealed to the public for the first time the supplemental MOA that should solve the deficiencies of the original JVA between the city government and Megawide Construction Corp.
In the supplemental MOA, the development of the Sitio Bato portion has been moved to the last phase of the project to give time for the city government to negotiate with the residents on their relocation or transfer.
“The Parties shall devise a comprehensive plan in protecting and respecting the concerns of the actual occupants of Sitio Bato. In consonance therewith, the development of Sitio Bato shall be the last phase of the redevelopment Project. Further, Parties shall observe all legal and necessary steps in addressing the needs and concerns of the project-affected occupants,” said the MOA.
Rosell explained that the site is considered a socialized housing site and the city government must ensure that the residents are properly relocated if necessary.
He notes that in the previous JVA, the project will not be able to move forward unless the residents of Sitio Bato will be relocated. This may cause a huge delay in the timeline of the project since the residents have been resisting the development for now.
“Atong buot nga ibutang sa last phase just to temper sa mga tawo, nga dili sila mangaratol. Iassure ang mga residente nga tumanon ang mga obligasyon sa syudad,” said Rosell.
Aside from the fate of Sitio Bato residents, the supplemental MOA also states that no displacement of registered vendors will happen when the new Carbon Market will be constructed.
“The Parties understand and agree that there shall be no displacement of all duly registered vendors with the Market Authority. For this purpose, utmost transparency and accountability must be observed in the selection, awarding, and assignment of beneficiaries, stalls, and spaces of the Public Market,” said the MOA.
The MOA also increases the investment of Megawide to the project from P5 billion to P8 billion, and it removes the stipulation in the original JVA that would halt the progress of the development awaiting the return of profit from a certain phase.
This ensures that the development will continue to be constructed continuously whether a unit has already been filled with tenants or not.
Unfortunately, the supplemental MOA still states that the Market Code must be amended to allow Megawide to collect the rent in the new Carbon Market.
However, while the market code is yet to be amended, the city government will be the one to collect the rental fees and the amount collected will be subtracted to the P50 million guaranteed payment.
This means that if the city government collects P20 million from vendors in the new Carbon Market, it will only receive P30 million from Megawide that year.
To ensure the implementation of the supplemental MOA and JVA, an Independent Consultant shall be appointed by Megawide for the duration of the construction of the Public Market.
The appointment shall be approved by the City and the scope of work of the Independent Consultant includes reviewing the design, monitoring Megawide’s plans and programs for the development of the public market, and evaluating the commissioning and acceptance results of the public market.
The supplemental MOA is being deliberated by the Committees on Laws and Market and will be proposed to the full council on March 30, 2022. /rcg
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